1 large leek
3 cloves of garlic
400 g broccoli (try get tender stem if you can )
40 g butter/coconut oil
½ a bunch of fresh thyme
2 milk/coconut milk/almond milk
450 g dried macaroni or Penne work too
30 g Parmesan cheese, grated
150 g Cheddar cheese - I like to use a mic of Cheddar and Mozzarella
100 g baby spinach
50 g flaked almonds - toasted
Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Trim, halve and wash the leek well - then thinly slice. Peel the garlic, then finely slice with the broccoli stalks. Make sure you keep the florets for later. Place the sliced veg in a large pan over a medium heat with the butter, then strip in the thyme leaves and cook for 15 minutes, or until softened, stirring regularly. Stir in the flour, followed slowly by the milk, then simmer for 10 minutes, or until thickened, stirring regularly. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling salted water for 5 minutes, then drain.
Grate the Parmesan and most of the Cheddar into the sauce, and mix well. Tip sauce mixture into a blender, add the spinach and blend until smooth – you might need to work in batches depending on the size of your blender. You can use a hand blender too if needed. Season with sea salt and black pepper, then stir through the pasta and broccoli florets. If the mix is too thick loosening with a splash of milk. Transfer to a 25cm x 35cm baking dish, grate over the remaining cheese (Mozzarella is great for the top!) and scatter over the almonds. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden and bubbling.
This is a FANTASTIC twist on a family favourite making sure you pack in as many veggies as possible while making it fun and super tasty.